2019 College Football Week 1 Picks: Alabama, Georgia & Ohio State Among the Big Names in Action

2019 College Football Week 1 Picks2019 College Football Week 1 Picks: Alabama, Georgia & Ohio State Among the Big Names in Action: While not every Week 1 matchup for the 2019 College Football season is a battle between big-time programs, there are plenty of powerhouse programs in action as we head into the first full Saturday slate of games. The top-ranked Clemson Tigers kicked off their title defense Thursday evening, and the fourth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners will bookend the weekend with a Sunday night contest. In between, the rest of the top-five teams, Alabama, Georgia and Ohio State, will be in action Saturday afternoon and evening. Let’s take a closer look at how to bet these national title contenders in their respective openers.


2019 College Football Week 1 Picks: Alabama, Georgia & Ohio State Among the Big Names in Action


Florida Atlantic Owls at No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes (-27.5)

At first glance, this looks like a golden opportunity to bet on the underdog. The Owls have been able to make some noise, especially on the offensive side of the ball, under head coach Lane Kiffin. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes gave up a ton of big plays on defense last year, and they will be breaking in a new starting quarterback and a new head coach. However, Florida Atlantic’s offense had issues on the road last year, particularly against stronger competition. The Owls opened with a 63-14 road loss to Oklahoma in 2018, managed just seven points in a loss at Marshall and put up just 24 points in a loss at Middle Tennessee. Ohio State is ranked fifth in the country for a reason. The Buckeyes have elite athletes all over the field on both sides of the ball, and the defense should be much better with nine starters returning. I expect the Buckeyes to make a statement in this one.

Prediction: Ohio State Buckeyes (-27.5) Cover the Spread

Duke Blue Devils at No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (-33.5)

Could there be a slight letdown from Alabama after losing star linebacker Dylan Moses right before the start of the season? Maybe, but I wouldn’t count on it. The Crimson Tide will likely feel the impact of the injury throughout the year, but I don’t think it will happen against the Blue Devils. Nick Saban still has as much talent at his disposal as any team in the country, and I’m not sure any coach is better at keeping his players focused on the task at hand. With Heisman runner-up Tua Tagovailoa under center and Biletnikoff winner Jerry Jeudy out wide, the Crimson Tide are going to be a juggernaut on offense. Duke is replacing quarterback Daniel Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, and even with Jones under center, the Blue Devils managed just six points and 259 yards of offense in a loss to Clemson last year. Alabama offers a similar level of competition, and I expect a similar result.

Prediction: Alabama Crimson Tide (-33.5) Cover the Spread

No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (-22.5) at Vanderbilt Commodores

SEC East opponents square off in what will be the season opener for both sides. Last year, the Bulldogs defeated the Commodores 41-13, and while Vanderbilt will have home-field advantage this time around, I don’t see the outcome being much different. In last year’s meeting, Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm picked apart the Vanderbilt secondary, throwing for 276 yards and three touchdowns while averaging 12.0 yards per attempt. Fromm is back, and the Bulldogs probably have even more overall talent than the did last year. The X-factor for Vanderbilt could be running Ke’Shawn Vaughn. One of the most explosive players in the country, Vaughn averaged 8.8 yards per carry against Georgia last year. Unfortunately for the Commodores, he was limited to just nine carries as the Bulldogs quickly built a big lead. Look for the Georgia defense to focus on slowing down Vaughn while Fromm and company move up and down the field at will.

Prediction: Georgia Bulldogs (-22.5) Cover the Spread


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